Refugee Resources

LGBTQI+ Refugees and Asylum Seekers: A review of research and data needs

Published in July 2022, this study reviews existing literature to examine the experiences of LGBTQI+ refugees and asylum seekers, including root causes of migration, barriers to claiming asylum, and arrival and resettlement challenges.

Rainbow Railroad Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (PSR)

Rainbow Railroad’s Private Sponsorship Program (PSR) collaborates with organizations and settlement teams to support newcomers.

Support for newcomers typically span a year, at approximately CAD $23,000 for their first year in Canada. The Government of Canada provides 3-6 months of financial support, depending on the program and case. The remaining financial supports (in the range of CAD$12,000 and $16,000) is provided by settlement teams with support from Rainbow Railroad. This is usually done through collaborative fundraising efforts.

Rainbow Railroad provides support through the application processes in addition to offering resources to help the LGBTQI+ newcomer resettle and adjust to their life in Canada. Settlement teams are integral to newcomer adjustment.

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans Youthline

“LGBT Youth Line is a Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit youth-led organization that affirms and supports the experiences of youth (29 and under) across Ontario.” They help youth through, providing anonymous peer support and referrals, training youth to provide support to other youth, and providing resources so youth can make informed decisions. 416-962-YOUTH (9688).

They do this by

a. providing anonymous peer support and referrals;

b. training youth to provide support to other youth; and

c. providing resources so youth can make informed decisions.

Queer Refugee Hearings Program Toolkit OCASI Webinar

Webinar presentation by Nicholas Hersh (he/him) an immigration and refugee lawyer at Community Legal Services of Ottawa and Capital Rainbow Refuge. He has extensive experience working with SOGIESC newcomers and has developed the Queer Refugee Hearings Program Toolkit. OCASI hosted the webinar to assist service providers to better help people claiming refugee protection based on Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression, and/or Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC). For more information, please contact Nicholas at

Queer Refugee Hearings Program Toolkit

Created by Ottawa-based Capital Rainbow Refuge, this toolkit aims to assist individuals claiming refugee protection based on SOGIESC by: Learning about the refugee claim process in Canada based on SOGIESC; Writing a complete and correct narrative about their life experiences; Collecting evidence that may best support their claims; and Addressing common misunderstandings about SOGIESC refugee claims in Canada. The QRHP Toolkit is free and available in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic. You can download the complete Toolkit, or specific sections. There is also an interactive version available on a safe and secure online platform.

Refugee Claims Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: an Annotated Bibliography


This annotated bibliography gives an account of legal and social sciences research sources related to refugee claims based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bibliography, which focuses primarily on English language publications, includes close to 200 items that fall into the following two categories of research sources: 

(1) scholarly publications on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) refugees and asylum-seekers and the refugee determination process; 

(2) reports from international, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations on the same topic. 

Research sources are first organized topically according to the definition of a Convention refugee under the 1951 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. As a second listing, a geographical classification is provided of the sources that focus on specific countries or regions. Finally, included is an alphabetical listing by author of all of the research sources we were able to locate for this project.


Refugee Hearing Preparation: A Guide for Refugee Claimants

The Refugee Hearing Preparation Guide is for refugee claimants and their service providers. It educates, guides, and supports refugee claimants who are preparing for their refugee hearings. It informs and empowers service providers in their understanding of the refugee hearing preparation process. And, refugee claimants and service providers learn about essential legal issues pertaining to refugee protection.

In it, you can:

  • learn key refugee legal issues
  • track your refugee claim on the right timeline
  • learn strategies to help prepare for your refugee hearing
  • complete the hearing preparation checklist
  • get answers to frequently asked questions
  • find legal and community resources in Metro Vancouver and Greater Toronto Area



No Place for Me: the Struggles of Sexual and Gender Minority Refugees by ORAM International

In "No Place for Me: the Struggles of Sexual and Gender Minority Refugees", lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) urban refugees in Mexico, Uganda and South Africa tell their stories in their own powerful voices. By ORAM (Organization for Refuge, Asylum, & Migration) International. 



Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and the Refugee Determination Process in Canada

Paper prepared for the Refugee Protection Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada as part of a professional development session on sexual orientation, gender identity and the refugee determination process. This paper reviews developments and issues specific to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and intersex refugees and the Canadian inland refugee determination process.